Delhi’s bowlers shared the spoils as Ishant Sharma (2/19), Anrich Nortje (2/20), Axar Patel (2/13) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/15) all claimed two wickets each. Litton Das (4) was the first wicket to ball, caught at square leg off Mukesh Kumar’s bowling. Venkatesh Iyer (0) then nicked Nortje to slip, while Rana (4) was caught at mid-on off Ishant’s bowling.
Axar joined the act by dismissing Mandeep Singh (12) and Rinku Singh (6). Sunil Narine registered another low score. He fell for 4, trying to take on Ishant. Jason Roy top-scored 43 off 39 balls. He was dismissed when he top-edged a sweep off Kuldeep. The left-arm spinner Kuldeep also trapped Anukul Roy leg before for a first-ball duck. Andre Russell (38 not out off 31) then hit Mukesh Kumar for three successive sixes in the last over to lift KKR past 125.
Chasing a small target, David Warner’s 57 off 41 seemed to be taking Delhi home to a comfortable victory. However, KKR bowlers struck at frequent intervals to keep the team in the hunt. Prithvi Shaw was bowled by Varun Chakravarthy for 13, while Mitchell Marsh (2) was caught off Rana’s bowling. Phil Salt (5) gave a return catch to Anukul. Warner was the fourth wicket to fall with the score at 93 as he completely missed his reverse sweep.
Manish Pandey scored 21 before falling to Anukul, caught at long-on. Aman Hakim Khan was then bowled Rana for 0. Axar (19 not out), however, held his nerve to guide Delhi past the finish line.
Speaking after winning the Player of the Match, Ishant Sharma said, “I was just waiting for my chance. I wanted to win a game for the team whenever I will get a chance.”
On his bowling plans, he added, “Depends on what kind of plans you have. Matter of time when you want to execute your plans. There is no lucky charm in the team. We would want to win every game from here on, qualify and hopefully win the tournament.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent